By Tim Marshall
After Paris the Front Nationale will gain support. This happened in January after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Marine Le Pen kept quiet then, and still saw support grow. After Paris President Hollande’s popularity will go even lower. He had a slight gain in January, but the public will feel his measures have failed. The attacks come 5 days after France announced the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle would return to the Gulf to assist in air strikes against IS – France is likely to deepen its military commitment.
After Paris the British government will assess the public and political mood in the UK and judge if they should table a vote on the RAF bombing in Syria as well as Iraq. PM Cameron wants to do this, and would have already held a vote but the maths was against him. If that changes – there will be a vote on standing ‘shoulder to shoulder with our NATO ally France’.
After Paris the battle to keep the UK in the European Union will become more difficult, especially if any of the attackers are found to have arrived in France recently, or have been given asylum. News late on Saturday suggests that the holder of Syrian passport found at scene of one of the attacks passed through the Greek island of Leros on Oct 3 according to a Greek official. The emotion of ‘secure borders’ will vie with the argument about economic logic ahead of the referendum.
After Paris the spirit of Schengen may shrivel and die. It had already taken some hammer blows due to the refugee/migrant crisis. It will become the norm to suspend the agreement.
After Paris Poland has already announced it cannot accept EU quotas for asylum seekers. The PM designate, Beata Szydlo, is linking the attacks to the refugee/migrant crisis. Elsewhere on the international stage Putin will use the atrocity to leverage his argument that ‘we’ are all fighting terror. This will begin at the G20 in Turkey.
After Paris race relations in France, already poor, may worsen. About 8% of the French population are Muslims. This morning Muslims all over Europe woke up and thought ‘Not again’. They know the actions of a few, will be blamed by some, on the many. That is what the terrorists want – division and hatred.
and sadly, there will now be a debate with one faction saying ‘Yes, but, brought on itself, foreign policy, oppression’ etc ad nauseum which knowingly or, (if we are generous) idiot unknowingly, helps the cause of the mass murderers.